A female surfer in a wet suit walks on the shore carrying a surfboard over her head.

Photo Credit: Surfers love Tofino.

Island Could Open to Mainland Tourists as of June 15

The Province has released its COVID restart plan

If all goes well, mainlanders could start coming back to the Island as of mid-June

The BC government released its COVID restart plan on May 25. COVID numbers are down and vaccinations are up across the province.

As of May 25, we can eat in restaurants and have up to five people over for an indoor visit. We can also travel around within our own health authority for fun instead of just for essential reasons.

But if cases keep dropping and more people get vaccinated, then travel within BC will open up as of June 15. BC Ferries will start to increase sailings to get people across. Travel from across Canada could open up as of July 1.

Jared Beaton, the general manager of Best Western Plus Tin Wis, said the phased approach allows the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation-owned resort to get up to speed. He told Ha-Shilth-Sa that it “allows us to have a little bit of a softer open and to make sure that our staff are coming back gradually—being trained properly.”

“Obviously we want to see things open up—everybody does,” Beaton said. But he wants to put the health of his staff and community first. “We’re not going to put people into jeopardy, or our communities at risk, for financial rewards – that isn’t going to happen.”

According to Beaton, the Fall tourism season is looking good. After a year of not being able to go far, lots of people from BC and across Canada want to visit the Island. “I don’t see us going back into that rut again, where I’m having to lay staff off after them being trained. I’m very confident we’ll keep everybody gainfully employed, based on what I’m seeing right now.”